Drake blasts Evansville; UNI wins too

Becca Hittner and Kennedy Kirkpatrick

Becca Hittner and Kennedy Kirkpatrick

DES MOINES — The top team in the Missouri Valley Conference hosted the last-placed team in the league, and the result true to form.

The Drake women’s basketball team blasted Evansville, 107-66, in Sunday’s MVC contest at the Knapp Center. The host Bulldogs (11-7, 6-0) reached triple-digits for the third time this season while posting the most points they had scored against a conference foe since 1997.

Becca Hittner tallied 23 points, nine rebounds and four assists for Drake, while Sara Rhine stepped in off the bench to contribute 22 points and eight boards.

Maddy Dean contributed 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while Paige Greiner chipped in 11 points with three of the Bulldogs’ 11 3-pointers.

Drake led for all but 37 seconds of the contest.

Evansville (3-13, 0-5) was led by Hannah Noe’s 22 points.

Drake hosts its MVC travel partner Northern Iowa (8-9, 4-2) on Friday night at 7 p.m.

UNI 59, Indiana St. 53

CEDAR FALLS — The lead changed hands three times in the fourth quarter before the Northern Iowa women’s basketball team went in front to stay with 1:24 remaining in a 59-53 victory over Indiana State on Sunday at the McLeod Center.

The Panthers (8-9, 4-2) trailed by as many as five points in the second quarter, led at the half and battled back-and-forth for the remainder with the Sycamores (3-13, 1-4) in the Missouri Valley Conference contest.

A jumper by Alexis Delgado put Indiana State on top, 53-52, with 2:04 to go, but Mikaela Morgan’s free throws returned the advantage to UNI for the rest of the game.

After taking its last lead, Indiana State turned the ball over and then went 0-for-3 from the field once UNI pulled in front.

Kennedy Kirkpatrick led UNI with 16 points, while Megan Maahs had 12 points and 13 rebounds, and Ellie Howell got her first double-double of the year with 11 points and 10 boards.

UNI shot just 34 percent from the field but outrebounded the Sycamores 43-31 and went to the free-throw line 13 more times than its guest.

Ashli O’Neal led Indiana State with 16 points.

UNI visits league-leading Drake on Friday night in Des Moines.